[pullquote]I don’t want to live forever… but apparently I am![/pullquote]
In a tour to go alongside their recent album, “The Wörld Is Yours”, Motörhead came to the Royal Centre to deliver what bassist, front man and growling rock legend Lemmy described in a BBC documentary this year as “…Music to drive to, if you want to crash into a bridge.” And in front of a highly appreciative crowd, Lemmy, guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee rocked the crowd as only Motörhead could.
The atmosphere was a little strange for a rock gig. The staid setting of the Royal Centre, the crowd in the most part seated, the acoustics far more suited to plays or light opera than a balls out rock experience. But the crowd’s spirits were not damped by the setting as they cheered, applauded and threw up their fists whenever the band called for reaction.
The set started out with a medley of some recognisable hits before settling in to promoting the album, playing a string of tracks from their 2010 release. The crowd, predominantly middle aged males, heads shaven where long hair would have previously fell (something this reviewer can sympathise with,) nodded along, soaking it all up. Then they moved back through the years, first dipping into the 1916 album, released over twenty years ago but still fresh in many fans’ minds.
Then the traditional logo which still adorned most of the crowd’s t-shirts dropped on a banner, covering the more modern version, signalling that they were ready to play more of their classic 80s hits and the gig began to really pick up steam. Classic after classic flowed from the stage, Killed By Death first, complete with members of the road crew coming out, dressed as deceased stars and being shot by another member of the crew dressed as a rather portly Terminator. Luciano Pavarotti particularly seemed to enjoy his part, conducting Dee’s frantic drumming with gusto.
[pullquote]Music to drive to, if you want to crash into a bridge[/pullquote]
After a short acoustic break to excellently cover White House Blues, the band left the stage in what must rank amongst the most blatant set ups for an encore ever conceived, without playing the one song that all of the crowd were baying for. And upon their return, the crowd went predictably ballistic for the crunching riffs of Ace Of Spades, Lemmy taking the now customary shot at his own longevity, changing the finish to the bridge to, “I don’t want to live forever… but apparently I am!”
The grand finale to the act was a stirring rendition of their 1979 hit Overkill, a fine way to finish a concert with it’s two late breaks in the song to allow the audience to give them three chances to applaud and cheer. A fitting send off to a band regarded as one of the most important in British Heavy Metal (however much Lemmy hates that label.)
Overall, despite the venue being a little unsuitable for hard rock, despite Lemmy’s voice showing the strains of both his 65 year old body and it being the penultimate date of a long tour, despite the odd incident of trouble, no doubt caused by certain members of the crowd opting to stay in the bar during the able support of the UK Subs and the Anti Nowhere League the whole evening was a highly enjoyable experience. If you like your music loud and raw, you should definitely make the effort to see Motörhead.